Gabriella Ignacz (MA, MSc) is a wellbeing educator, blogger, and author.
She was born in Hungary and travelled extensively through her work and studies. Her love of travelling started when she was 16 and received a scholarship to attend a high school in the US. She was one of the young minds from post-communist countries given this scholarship with the aim to gain exposure to Western values.
Gabriella started her career as an English teacher after completing a masters in English Literature and Linguistics. Her love of food and dining later resulted in a career swap for the hospitality industry and she spent two years living and working in Cyprus. She then moved to the UK to pursue a degree in hospitality and completed a masters in Food and Wellbeing at the University of Brighton. This also where she became a mother.
Gabriella currently lives in Vienna, Austria with her husband and son. She writes about wellbeing, happiness, and motherhood. She is passionate about empowering mothers and helping them have a positive experience of parenthood.
The idea to write “Honest Talk for New Mothers” was born out of the desire to talk more openly about the realities of becoming a mother. I felt like there was a gap in the market. There are so many books about pregnancy and baby advice – but not so much about early motherhood.
What makes this book different is focusing on the new mother, as opposed to focusing on the baby.
The expectations of new mothers are ruined by falseness. Women tend to get a rose-tinted picture of motherhood from the media, and when reality hits them they’re shocked – and all kinds of problems may stem from this, such as feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and depression. A lot of women suffer. The rates of postnatal depression are soaring, and sadly there are also a lot of mothers who suffer in silence. And when the mother’s wellbeing suffers, that’s not good for the baby either.
Just knowing what to really expect could make a huge difference in how a new mum navigates the difficult waters of early motherhood. This book offers a helping hand by talking openly and honestly about early motherhood, what changes to expect, and how to prepare for them.
Becoming a mum is the biggest possible event in a woman’s life and the changes are profound; and yet women are only prepared for the birth.
The first few weeks and months of motherhood can be tougher than the birth. That’s when the biggest changes occur. When I became a mother, I kept thinking, “why didn’t anyone tell me that this was going to happen?” I went to all the antenatal classes, I read books, online forums, everything. I did my research. I felt almost betrayed that no one told me the most important things, no one warned me about the changes and how to handle them.
At first I thought it was only me. My circumstances were far from ideal, I was living abroad, I was a student, my family wasn’t around. I knew it was going to be a struggle – that’s why I did so much research. Also, as a masters student, I believed in research: when you don’t know something, you ask questions and find answers. So I started asking other mums about how they felt. That’s when I realised it wasn’t just me.
I started taking notes and writing things down, and the patterns emerged quickly. I approached some professionals to get their perspective as well, and I organised all the information around the topics that emerged. I deliberately based the book on primary research and interviews. I also found the wonderfully talented artist Roz Down, who agreed to do the illustrations.
We have to talk openly and honestly about the challenges of motherhood, because a lot of women suffer. My aim is to change antenatal education to include more information about the realities of early motherhood – and I invite you to help me with it.
Sample author Q&A
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
When I became a mother, I was surprised by how much I didn’t know what motherhood would be like, even though I did my research. I knew all about pregnancy and giving birth, I read everything I could possibly find. And yet, as I was going through those first weeks and months, I felt let down that no one told me about what it was really going to be like. No one told me what was going to happen to me.
Why do new mothers need to read it?
Because women’s expectations are ruined by falseness. They get a rose-tinted image of motherhood from the media, and when the reality is different they are shocked. I don’t think it’s okay to be shocked by reality. Women need to know what changes to anticipate. This could make a big difference to a mother’s wellbeing – which directly impacts her baby’s wellbeing.
What is your aim with this book?
I would love to change antenatal education to include more information about mothers’ feelings post-partum. Preparing for the birth is very important; but the first weeks of motherhood are often more challenging than the birth itself. If women could anticipate these difficulties, then they would be able to prepare themselves emotionally, they could organise help in advance, and this could make the transition from woman to mother much smoother.
Is the book based on your personal experiences?
My experiences are included together with those of others. I started asking fellow mums about their experiences; and when I realised several of them felt the same way I knew I was on to something. I started conducting interviews, not just with mums but also with professionals, to gather their collective thoughts and feelings.
Why do you use so many direct quotes?
This book is not about me: I wanted to preserve the unique voices of my interviewees to make the reader feel like she is part of a cosy chat with a group of people who have been there and know what it’s like. One of the questions I asked everyone was what advice they would give to a new mum – and the book is based on their replies.
Title: Honest Talk for New Mothers: things they don’t tell you at the antenatal classes
Author: Gabriella Ignácz
Illustrator: Roz Down
Publisher: independently published on Amazon
Length: 80 pages
Link to the ebook version: http://bit.ly/EbookHonestTalkforNewMothers
Link to the paperback version: http://bit.ly/PaperbackHonestTalkforNewMothers
Images to use:Download images to use
PDF’s to download: